Skelton Grange

Events and courses

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Skelton Grange offers training for teachers, nursery staff, childminders and environmental professionals for Learning Outside the Classroom.

We also run lots of events and courses for anyone to get involved in just for fun!

What we have to offer:

12th-13th Nov 2014: 'Landscapes' with Mimika Theatre

Dates: Weds 12th and Thurs 13th November 2014

A theatre of remarkable visual effects and transformations all set inside a beautiful calico dome, 'Landscapes' takes us on a journey around the globe absorbing the atmosphere, movements, rhythms and sounds of four contrasting areas of the natural world - desert, sea, rainforest and the Antarctic. Performances for schools during the daytime and the public in the evening - full details can be found here.

Sat 15th Nov 2014: Flying Shavings Reindeer Workshop

Learn how to use a shave horse and other green woodworking skills whilst creating your very own reindeer for the coming winter season! Working in a small group in the Skelton Grange Environment Centre woods, you will be guided by traditional craftsman Richard Law of Flying Shavings, whose courses are very popular. There will be two sessions available on Saturday 15th November at 10:00 am - 12:30 pm or 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm. Cost of £35 includes materials, tools and a steaming bowl of veggie soup heated on the rocket stove accompanied by a home-baked wholemeal roll.Minimum age 9 years. Click here to book

Tues 10th March 2015: Environmental Games and Activities

The natural environment is a superb learning environment, and this practical course will give you lots of innovative ideas for games and activities which will engage and inspire children about the natural world, and will also support delivery of the national curriculum.  The activities, suitable for 3-11 year olds, utilise easily available resources and have been tried and tested by us and children over 20 years! At the end of the day you’ll have made your own back pocket games book, ready to take your teaching outside.

Click here for more info and to make a booking

Mon 16th March 2015: Making the Most of the School Grounds

This day will give staff from primary schools, nurseries and children’s centres guidance, inspiration and practical support to develop outdoor learning opportunities. We’ll guide you through growing vegetables with children and introduce you to fun, hands on, creative and curriculum linked outdoor activities suitable for 3-11 year olds, based around the vegetable garden and wider school grounds.

Click here for more info and to make a booking


Thurs 19th March 2015: Raising Standards by taking Literacy and Numeracy Outdoors

This course will help primary teachers use the natural environment to teach aspects of the core literacy and numeracy curriculum. It is a practical day covering a range of outdoor activities to engage children in active learning including activities to teach time, number bonds, area, shape, fractions and how to use the natural environment as an inspiration for story building and telling, poetry, descriptive writing, vocabulary development and even punctuation!

Click here for more info and to make a booking

Sat 25th April 2015: Nature Play for Childminders

The natural environment provides an exciting, stimulating and challenging environment where children can have fun and play freely whilst experiencing the challenges of life and developing real life skills. This training day, run by TCV, is aimed at childminders who want to develop informal nature play opportunities for the children in their care, making the most of gardens (large or small), parks and woodlands.

Outdoor play is a statutory requirement for children in Early Years and Nature Play, playing in and with nature, is a crucial element of this. The aim of the training is to give you ideas for activities and games that will enable you to encourage young children to explore and discover their natural environment.

Led by experienced environmental trainers with years of experience running activities with children of all ages, the training will take place at our purpose built environment centre.

Feedback from previous participants on courses run by these trainers: 

The activities were suited really well for my mixed age group – something for toddlers and the older children too. Look forward to trying them out.”

“Great fun – I’ve now got loads of new ideas for taking the children outside”

Cost - £30 per person plus VAT

 Click here for more info and to make a booking


7th May 2015: Nature Play for Early Years

7th May 2015: Nature Play for Early Years

Outdoor play is a statutory requirement in Early Years and Nature Play, playing in and with nature, is a crucial element of this.  We cover the benefits of nature play and how to manage risk, and then  run through loads of ideas for activities and games that will enable you to confidently encourage children to explore, discover and learn in their natural environment.

Click here for more info and to make a booking


Custom made courses for your school or organisation

We can design and deliver custom made courses just for your school. In the past we have run the above courses in house and have also designed courses around 'Getting the whole school gardening' and 'Getting started with outdoor learning - a mixture of practical and theory'. Courses can last a half or whole day (and can be run as twilight sessions). They can be run here at Skelton Grange or in your own school grounds. Contact us for prices and availablity.

Trainers at Skelton Grange

All our in-house trainers are all qualified primary school teachers and have enjoyed running successful environmental activities with children from Leeds schools for many, many years! They have experience of working with all ages and abilities, in lots of different settings and have a real passion and enthusiasm for working with children outdoors. In our work we are also lucky enough to meet some very inspirational people, and we have persuaded some of them to run other exciting events at Skelton Grange.

The venue

Skelton Grange Environment Centre is in South Leeds, conveniently located close to the M1 and M621, with ample free car parking available and also served by frequent buses from Leeds city centre and a cycle path. A beautiful, award winning eco-building, with many environmental features including rainwater recycling, solar panels and photo voltaic cells, the centre is located in a 2 hectare wildlife area - all fully accessible to wheelchair users. The building is also available for hire for your own events - click here for more details.